“Outlaw King” is, in many ways, my absolute nightmare of a film. A medieval war epic about the rise of Scottish king Robert the Bruce? No, thank you. Fight scene after fight scene of costumed men flailing about battlefields stretching into eternity? Would rather not. A cross between “Braveheart” and “Game of Thrones”? Noooooooooooo.
Life is too short to watch films you’re bound to hate. So I didn’t, for the most part. There is one aspect of the movie, which premieres Friday on Netflix, that managed to catch my attention. And that scene involved Chris Pine’s dick.
That’s right, Pine’s bare naked schlong is on view for about one full second of the otherwise unrelieved film. I know this because I hit play only after fast-forwarding to the 1:27:52 mark, saw the Pine-is itself, and pressed stop promptly at 1:27:56.
Upon realizing I’d missed context necessary to fully understand the cock scene at hand, I rewound a bit. Dutiful critic that I am, I’m proud to say I watched approximately 30 seconds of “Outlaw King” in total, enough to catch the moments that sandwiched Pine’s wiener like a freshly baked bun. This is my very serious cinematic review of those seconds.
Let’s start at the beginning, around 1:27:31. Elizabeth de Burgh, played by Florence Pugh, is locked in an iron cage dangling above the ocean. I do not know how she got in this cage or why, but she seems very upset about the circumstances and wails miserably into the distance as sad, Scottish music plays on.
As a viewer, I had no idea what was happening. But as a critic, I couldn’t help but notice that de Burgh’s cage looked a lot like an erect dick. Truly, there’s a head and then a shaft and she is trapped inside, a literal slave to the D. I don’t know if this is exactly what director David Mackenzie was going for, but honestly, the symbolism is a little heavy-handed.
Next scene: We’re in a Scottish marsh. Bubbles are bubbling up to the water’s edge, as bubbles do. All of a sudden, a man emerges from the sea’s depths. (It’s happening!) It’s Hollywood leading man Chris Pine and his handy dong! Pine shoots out of the sea like a dolphin at Sea World, spewing water from his mouth like a walrus (also at Sea World).
Sadly, some of these droplets obscure the view of his physical form, which is already being shot from very far away. But onward I pressed.
Pine pants heavily, as if he’s just challenged himself to an underwater endurance contest and needs a moment to recover. In the meantime, the camera pans out to reveal some of his Scottish buddies hanging out by the fire.
“I decided to come out in the open,” Pine says, all too perfectly. And scene.
In reality, the words are probably the introduction to some grand battle scheme he’s about to outline. But I prefer to imagine the line is Pine’s way of breaking the fourth wall, introducing Richard and the twins to the world.
Since “Outlaw King” premiered at TIFF in September, the internet has been abuzz about cinema’s emerging member. “Chris Pine’s Penis Dazzles Audience at Opening Night of the Toronto Film Festival,” Vulture praised. Not long after, however, the Guardian’s Jamie Dunne hit back: “Why the fuss over Chris Pine’s ‘dazzling’ penis?” condemning Vulture and other publications for their squeamish immaturity.
“Is this overreaction to a glimpse of Pine’s penis the reason so many young actors are squeamish about getting naked for their art?” Dunne asked. Umm, no. Critics are thrilled by Pine’s peen because Hollywood wood is a relatively rare thing to observe, akin to a fleshy unicorn (minus the horse) in the wild.
Case in point, while Pugh also appears nude in the film, her state of undress is basically expected.
If anything, all the hullabaloo over Pine’s nudity makes more clear a double standard that women can only satirize at this point, because what else can we do??? Even a flash of dick, glimpsed from a distance, is enough to trigger the headline “Some More Chris Pine Dick News.” And I welcome that.
Because until men and women in Hollywood operate under the same set of standards governing nudity, I refuse to stand idly by and not say something about Chris Pine’s dick. Just as Robert the Bruce didn’t give up in doing whatever he did in the other parts of this movie I didn’t watch, neither shall I, in my quest to bring more dicks to more screens. This is my oath.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Pine explained the motivation behind his nudity. “Underneath the emperor’s clothes, he’s a naked person,” he said of the Bruce. “I want to see the animal and I want to see the king.”
I have seen the king, and I am grateful.